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Our advocacy efforts includes in-depth research to ensure justice for all.

Contributions to research

Jabri Markwell, R. (2023) “Religion as a Motive – Does Australian Terrorism Law Serve Justice?”International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.2686.

Vaughan, Katy (2022) Interoperability of terrorism definitions between the law and tech platforms. Report to the Global Internet forum to Counter Terrorism. AMAN’s advisor facilitated the legal working group overseeing this paper.

Jabri Markwell, R. “The conflation of Islam and terrorism and the rise of far right extremism” in Iner, D (2022) Islamophobia in Australia Report III. (ISRA and Charles Sturt University: Sydney).

Risius M, Blasiak K, Wibisino S, Jabri-Markwell R, Louis W (2021) Dynamic Matrix of Extremisms and Terrorism (DMET): a continuum approach towards identifying different degrees of extremisms. Report to the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism

Abdalla, M., Ally, M. & Jabri-Markwell, R. Dehumanisation of ‘Outgroups’ on Facebook and Twitter: towards a framework for assessing online hate organisations and actors. SN Soc Sci 1, 238 (2021).

Jabri Markwell, R. “The dehumanisation of Muslims made Christchurch possible.” (31 August 2020) ABC Religion & Ethics.

Research priorities

AMAN welcomes steps by the research sector and governments to engage with us on research priorities. Research can shape policy and public debate.

Stigmatisation of an entire community and their religion
  1. Effect of law: Is the inclusion of ‘religious cause’ in Australia’s definition of a terrorist act necessary and effective? (to maintain safety, justice, national security and liberal democratic values). Many have argued for the removal of the motive element entirely from the terrorism definition (Former INSLM Bret Walker, CDPP, Victorian Expert Panel). Should “religious cause” be removed from the law, or should the whole motive requirement be removed?
  2. Enshrining discriminatory approaches: Do national security agencies and law enforcement require legal protection to directly discriminate against communities based on religion (as per s37(2) of the previous federal religious discrimination bill put forward by the Morrison Government)? What would be the practical implications for communities? Is it consistent with the Government’s move towards ‘ideology neutral’ approaches?
  3. Labels: Why are groups’ self-proclaimed labels used for ‘religious’ groups but not for ‘patriotic’ or ‘right wing’ ones? For example, why does Government refer to ISIL as religiously motivated when they are not accepted as Islamic by the Muslim community or Islamic scholars? How can a consistent approach be determined across the ideological spectrum?
  4. Promotion: How did the media and government’s widescale amplification of ISIS differ from their approach today? What changed and why? How aware are the media and government about avoiding glorifying and promoting violent propaganda and causes?
  5. Dehumanisation online: What legal and policy changes would more effectively reduce dehumanising speech and discourse about targeted outgroups? (particularly concerning the Australian Government’s commitment to regulate misinformation/disinformation legally). 
Policing and ‘justice system’ approaches
  1. Double standards in policing, charging and prosecutions: Is there consistent policing of violent extremism or the planning/preparation of terrorist acts across the ideological spectrum?
  2. Policing tactics: How do policing tactic choices affect or accelerate the transition to violence? What has been the extent of police historically using undercover operatives to secure terrorism conspiracy convictions of minors? Is that trend changing? If so, why? What can their families report about their experiences with the police? (e.g., if the family reported the child to the police, how was the support?) What can be done by the police to repair that broken relationship?
  3. Mental illness: How are Muslim people with mental illness treated differently than non-Muslim people with mental illness when it comes to police engagement?  How many minors and youth are in prison hospitals for mental conditions, and what are the patterns in diagnosis? Do these individuals have access to independent mental health assessments paid for by their families? 
  4. Minors: About minors prosecuted for terrorism conspiracy offences, how many of them are there in jail? How long have they been in there? Are minors treated equally by the legal system across the ideological spectrum (minors of different racial and religious backgrounds)?
  5. Disengagement or deradicalisation: Are persons suspected of engaging with violent ideology offered diversion and disengagement opportunities at an early stage? Is this changing or not? Is it applied equally across the ideological spectrum?
  6. Rehabilitation: What rehabilitation and education opportunities do they have?
  7. The resilience of democracy and society: How can policy be expanded to support resilience at a whole society level (shifting to prevention and moving away from individual responses)? We would like to more attention paid to addressing the systemic threats referred to above (effect of the law, labels, promotion via government and media).
  8. Access to justice for suspects: Do “suspects” from CALD communities have ready access to qualified interpreters when approached by the police for questioning? Do these “suspects” have a basic understanding of the laws around terrorism? Do they understand the justice system in Australia? Can they afford legal costs, or do they qualify for legal aid?
  9. Detention laws impact human rights, particularly of minors: Laws allowing detention without trial, such as control orders, preventative detention orders and continued detention orders, can keep convicted prisoners in jail even after they have served their sentences. Are these laws effective and necessary? Are they proportional?
  10. Demonstrating community interventions: Learning from the Muslim community experience. Recording the progress over many years.

Broader considerations

  1. Australian children trapped in NE Syrian camps: What is the situation of Australian women and children trapped in North Syria?
  2. Use of terrorist label in armed conflict situations: What are the benefits and dangers of terror listing parties in armed conflict situations (legally governed by IHL, not terrorism) to Australia’s national security and internal social cohesion?
  3. Terrorism listing process: Why were right-wing/white nationalist terrorist organisations only recently listed and continue to be slowly listed? What would improve the process to make it less political and more evidence-based?